Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1.  I remember when we used to collect chickweed from my father’s allotment. We would bring it home, wash it in a sieve, then fry it with a knob of butter, one onion and some cheese. Very tasty [Andover, Hampshire, December 2013].

2. Chickweed: I was told by my neighbour to collect this for my budgie; she said that birds like a bit of green stuff as well and seed [Childwall, Liverpool, April 2013].

3. Canaries like chickweed. My grandmother used to send us out to collect chickweed for her canary [Wandsworth Common, London, March 1998].

4. Arvi (common chickweed) is said to grow wherever the soil is good quality [Lerwick, Shetland, March 1994].

Images: main, Coe Fen, Cambridge, March 2019; inset, Henrietta Street, Dublin, November 2014.